As of late, there has been quite a buzz around the tech blogoshpere and tech news sites about the death of SEO. Many are claiming that Search Engine Optimization has become or is becoming obsolete, especially with the constant changing of Google’s searching and indexing algorithms. These claims often come from those who don’t truly understand SEO, and ironically many others are simply taking advantage of this trend to drive traffic to their blogs, thus implementing a rudimentary version of SEO! SEO is not dead, and it is unlikely that it will come to pass anytime soon.
The number one reason why SEO will probably never die is because the internet has become much too large to navigate otherwise. The internet got so large in fact that in 2008 that Google stopped counting. There is simply too much data for any one person to wade through in order to find what they’re looking for. When there is this much of anything, there needs to be a system set in place in order to find what you’re looking for. By the very nature of a system, there is a set of rules, a procedure, an algorithm set in place to accomplish this.
As long as there are people that want to find something, and people that want to be found, there will be search engines. As long as there are search engines, there will be people trying to rank higher in a search engine, a la SEO.
When people make the absurd claim that SEO is dead or dying, they are probably simply misunderstanding what SEO really is. Practicing SEO, at its core, is simply trying to figure out the rules of a search engine and then attempting to follow those rules as closely as possible. The only way Search Engine Optimization will ever die is if there ceases to be search engines.
The rules of the search engine are constantly changing, however. Google has begun to change it’s search algorithms 550 times every year. That’s almost twice a day, every day of the year. The result is an ever changing rule set on what ranks well and what doesn’t. For example, one of the first, most widely used SEO tactics was to trade linkbacks with just about everybody you knew. Business sprung up overnight, promising thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of web pages linking back too yours for a fee. And for awhile, it worked. All it would take is some linkbacks to your website and your place in Google’s search results skyrocketed. Since then, the rules have changed. It’s not so much just how many links you have, but the quality of those links as well.
In this case, the tactics of SEO have changed. Long gone are the days when 1000 links to your site put you on Google’s front page of searches. The effectiveness of these tactics may have died down a bit, but the actual practice of SEO has not died. Far from it. SEO is alive and well, and it is evolving.